Posts Tagged ‘Illegal Immigration’

UPDATE:  Regarding the e-mail incident between a U of Berkeley student and Sachi Landscaping–the guy is completely denying it was him but hasn’t provided one iota of proof that it wasn’t (details here).  And Mr. Zeiser contacted me via Twitter and said

Nice little passive aggressive compliment along with an insult.  But whatevs….I have not yet responded but my inclination is no. My thinking is that the kind of tripe he is pushing is already being blasted at the populace by really large media outlets like Fox, The Heritage Foundation, the American Spectator (for whom he has written in the past), the Daily Caller and dozens of other venues. Why should I let him use my little blog to broadcast his viewpoint when the entire Twitter conversation is all one really needs to know.  So I suggest you all read the entire Twitter conversation and make up your own mind.

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So, earlier today I was watching my Twitter scroll with one eye while trying to program in C# with the other and a couple of things jumped out at me.  The first was a Storify* from @AngryBlackLady (one of my favorite writers, commentators and all around smart people online) about a conversation between her and a conservative supposed PhD  who insisted on debating her about Obamacare regardless of whether she wanted to or not.

From @ABL’s Twitter Feed

If you don’t want to read the long exchange (you really should just for the giggles, the image above is a summary of his worst statements) it boils down to her getting angry at him for pestering her for days and telling him to leave her alone.  So he resorts to using some misogynist and racist terms to refer to her and finally he refuses to acknowledge the ugliness behind what he said or apologize for it.  At the end, of course, he claims to be the victim of the whole thing. It will make you feel all fuzzy inside–not.

Not long after reading that I saw a Tweet by @LaloAlcaraz, a man of many talents (you might have seen his comics in your local newspaper if you live in the Southwestern U.S.).  He shared an email exchange between a University of Berkeley student and the owner of a local business.  The student is a member of CASA (Chicano Architecture Student Association) and asked very respectfully if her organization could get a tour of his business.  His response?

You can see Lalo’s photo of the full email exchange and the explanation here.    Not only is the business owner’s response ugly he also claims to be victimized by the request for the tour.

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a rash of white males (just one example) running around crying about being victims to us “delicate flowers” and/or “savages” and/or “illegals”.  The irony is that anybody with a brain can see that white males, particularly older ones, still run this country and pretty much the entire fucking world.  This is serious “crazy making” behavior . It’s like women and minorities are in an abusive relationship with the rest of U.S. society.  They keep kicking us and then telling us that it’s our fault and we made them do it.  And then we when we legitimately confront them over it, they tell us that we’re the racist/bigots trying to stir up ill feelings that disappeared the moment the Black Marxist Muslim Usurper was elected in 2008.  And us wimmin folk, once we got the right to vote back in 1920 it’s been easy pickings since then, amiright my fellow delicate blossoms?   It’s all unicorns shitting one hundred dollar bills, rainbows and cotton candy, dontcha know!  Except, of course, for that painful black eye and those sore ribs we keep getting.

But there might be some hope.   Take for instance the revenge that has been enacted against ABL’s harasser.  If one were to Google his name (I highly recommend it, click this link and it will do it for you automatically) you will find a link to the Storify item I mentioned earlier about 4 or 5 results down.   The more people click on it, the more this will rise in Google search results whenever anyone searches for Mr. Zeiser.   And in so doing, it will air his statements about how much fun it is to “collect scalps”, how he called people of color and anyone who disagrees with him “savages”, and other various lovely things.  Note this isn’t harassment or libel or slander**.  He really did write these things and by doing this on Google we can ensure that even if he tries to deny it, the proof is easy to find.  As a side benefit whenever someone looks him up to find out more about him, one of the first things they will learn is that nature of his character is less than desirable.  Also do not Tweet about this conversation and mention ABL’s Twitter nom de plume. She’s over it and I don’t blame her–keep her out of the discussion unless she chooses to rejoin it on her own.

The other little bit of good news is that the Berkeley student has approached her College’s faculty in hopes that they will address the matter but many people have seen this exchange online now and I’m hoping it will descend squarely on this guy’s head so that he loses his license to practice.  However, the student has asked people online not to interact with the company directly so DO NOT contact the business owner or the company.  Nevertheless, if you live in Southern California (and I know a few people that do) keep this guy and his business in mind because if he or his company tries to get your business (or anyone you know) you can tell him to “piss off”.  If he wants to know why tell him it’s the “Free Market” coming back to bite him in the ass.

The ugliness of these kinds of exchanges is why I have to take a break from the Internet on occasion.  Then again, people like ABL and Lalo pull me back in because they are never afraid to point it out, call it what it is, and they don’t let it make them crazy.  I don’t have their coping mechanisms yet but I’m getting there.

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*For those who don’t know, Storify is a way to document a series of Tweets over a long period of time.  It puts them in the proper time order which can be very hard to do on your own without such an app.

**I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.  However, libel/slander is propagating something you know is untrue.  And it don’t get any more real than that there Twitter exchange.

The link to the Spanish version of this post

“Find out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.”

—-William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

There is something rotten deep inside the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. It’s some kind of infection that permeates the entire agency and results in pustules that force the public and the larger justice system to take notice. Sometimes those pustules burst and leave no doubt that something is terribly wrong. Rank problems include too many poorly explained and poorly handled inmate deaths, charges of racial discrimination, profiling and harassment, and 6,300 lawsuits that have cost County taxpayers over $50 million and counting. Just to put that into perspective for you….take Harris County, Texas (which includes Houston)….over the last 17 years Arpaio’s MCSO has had 6 times as many lawsuits against it. Yes, I said 6 times. Something is indeed rotten…we should just call Sheriff Arpaio “Cousin Fester” and be done with it.

Not as if we need any more convincing but there’s yet another sad and infuriating story coming out of Joe’s jail hellscape.  Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, an illegal document with forged papers, was arrested in 2009 and she was pregnant.   What she says happened to her is a nightmare that no human being should ever have to endure.  Here’s a list of her charges:

  • They put her in jail while she was in active labor instead of keeping her in the hospital.
  • The purposely ignored her cries for help because they were in Spanish and not English (The Justice Department has confirmed that this was a common pattern of behavior for the guards.)
  • After being taken back a day later to the hospital to give birth via C-Section, she was not allowed to hold her son or nurse him.
  • She was shackled to her hospital bed immediately following the C-Section.
  • They took her out of the hospital early before she could be given pain medication and even before the hospital had officially discharged her.
  • When taking her out of the hospital, they had her shackled at both the hands and feet.  Her attorney said in an interview that I heard on KJAZZ this morning (can’t find the actual transcript) that she was bleeding down over her ankle shackles.

I don’t know about you, but I have had a C-Section and you can’t walk for quite a while afterward–like a full day afterwards. It’s major surgery and it hurts like hell.  It takes a minimum of 12 weeks of rest to recovery from. The fact that they had her up and walking out of the hospital (without doctor sign off) within hours not only violates hospital rules but the fact she had no pain medication is just plain cruel and unusual.

The lawsuit against MCSO was filed on Jan. 21st and one day later U.S. District Court Judge Joe Campbell threw it out of court saying that since she was not shackled during the actual labor her lawsuit cannot show that a constitutional rights violation occurred.  See the law says you can’t shackle a woman during labor but says nothing about before or after.  Industry practice, even in Arizona Corrections, is to never shackle a pregnant woman at any time unless she is a danger to herself and others.  So even though MCSO was violated their own industry practices, they weren’t technically violating the law–according to the judge.  A quick note, Judge Campbell is a well-known conservative.  In other words, there was little hope that this case could get past the patriarchal firewall of misogyny here in Arizona.  Thankfully, that’s what appeals are for.  Her attorney plans to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Until then, when will Maricopa County residents realize that this “effect defective comes by cause” and the cause is the guy at the helm of the rotting body that is MCSO.

From the land of the truly nuts:

  • As I said in a post the other day national focus has turned to AZ again primarily due to Senator McCan’t and his Border charades.  The Senator’s antics were no doubt timed to coincide not only with the state GOP’s vote of no confidence, but also to the appointment of the newest Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, who has only been in office since Dec. 23, 2013.  Sec. Johnson is getting familiarized with the gargantuan task of running such a massive department, so it must be the perfect time for Sen. McCain to start hammering said department on the efficiency and effectiveness of their border security program.  Sec. Johnson will be visiting the Tucson sector of the Arizona border with Mexico this week.  Let’s hope the press leaves him alone so he can get to work sooner rather than later…although if Sen. McCain has his way, Johnson will be hounded every step of the way, I’m sure.
  • Since it is MLK Day, there will be lots of stories about his legacy such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is fitting.  It should also be a day to remember that the fight for those Rights did not end in 1965 and recently has heated up.  Just this past year, a US Supreme Court case gutted the law, so states like Arizona went right back to their old shenanigans.  Since then States controlled by Republican governors and/or legislatures been involved in attempts to limit access to polling stations, remove methods of voting, and limit who can vote (mainly using new Voter ID laws or outright removing people from the state’s registration lists).  Of  course, these all target traditionally Democratic voters like African Americans, Native Americans, the urban poor, women and the young.  Today, of all days, we must remember that we’re still in the ring and the other side is throwing a lot of unanswered punches.
  • Another inmate has died in a Maricopa County jail under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign.   Even though the MCSO is being monitored by the U.S. District Court (because of the pattern of abuses and unethical behavior spotlighted in the Melendres v. Arpaio Civil Rights case), I doubt anything will come from this latest death investigation. After all, who cares about another dead inmate—except their family of course.  They’ll get paid off like they always do and Maricopa County residents will forget and re-elect Arpaio yet again .
  • The incredibly stupid bill to allow people to carry weapons on school campuses is being proposed in the AZ State Legislature again.  It failed to even reach committee last year so let’s hope it suffers a similar fate this time as well.

As an astute reader pointed out yesterday*, Senator McCain who has represented Arizona for 30 years is being challenged from the right.  The Maricopa County Republican Committee voted by a wide margin to censure Sen. McCain for not representing conservative issues.  The final count was 1,150 to 351.  Contrast this with his 100% conservative rating by the American Conservative Union and in 2011 his voting record made him one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate.  McCain is not a RINO…he’s not even a moderate conservative.  He is to the right of Attila the Hun.

However from the Tea Party’s extreme positions, he is a liberal.  So they’re using the local Republican committee to flex their muscles and falsely label McCain as a liberal because he dared to compromised with the President and, you know, help to govern the country.  They’re so blind and adamant in their condemnation they had this to say:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that until he is consistently champions our Party’s Platform and values, we, the Republican leadership in Arizona will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.

Sounds like another Tea Party hostage situation to me.  And the timing is funny (as Alopecia pointed out).  As the censure vote was going down, the news of McCain’s letter to Homeland Security expressing his concerns with Border Security came out.  A careful reading of McCain’s letter and Immigration Reform position (which is also currently at odds with the Tea Party members in the House) seems to indicate that McCain is actually closer to the middle position on this particular issue now than local Republicans would probably like him to be.

But this is nothing new.  McCain has a pattern of moving left and right on this issue depending on whatever he thinks is in his political interests.  A couple of years ago he was virulently opposing everything the President wanted.  He and Senator Jon Kyl (since retired) refused to address comprehensive Immigration Reform until the Border had been made secure against “violence” supposedly spilling over into the U.S.  Now he wants to deal with comprehensive Immigration Reform and is concerned that there are too many ineffective assets deployed on the Border and that they are too militarized.

This is all part of a power play.  The old school Republicans are fighting with the Tea Party and this is one delightful result.  I don’t think they’ll hurt McCain come 2016 because he doesn’t need their money or their support really. The geriatric vote will keep McCain in office until he is mummified by the Arizona climate (similar to Sheriff Arpaio).  But I can always dream.  In the meantime, get out that frosty beer mug and pop some popcorn because it’s going to get  interesting in the wild wild far right west.

*Via commenter Alopecia (via ThinkProgress who go it from local station ABC15)

I and many other people have been saying that the Republican Party is destroying itself from within and seems to need little help from their opponents in this matter. Every day I am becoming more convinced that we are seeing the GOP in it’s death throes (1) because the things they are doing are getting crazier and dumber.

Today we find out that Ted Nugent, the gun loving, draft dodging (2) and liberal hating singer, is going to be attending the State of the Union tonight as a guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX).  Nugent most recently and famously had this to say about Pres. Obama and three of the most powerful and respected women in the world all while brandishing assault weapons:

Obama, he’s a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let’s hear it for him. And then I was in New York. I said, “Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch. Since I’m in California, how about Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun. And Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore. Any questions?

Yes, that’s the kind of man that the Republican Party wants to highlight on national television while the President has invited regular folks who REALLY represent America.  Part of me is delighted because it shows just how far off the Rails the GOP has gone and probably will alienate moderate voters.  The other part of me is pretty angry.  This guy has implied threats to the President’s life (to the point the Secret Service had to have a little talk with him), said some of the most inflammatory things about women and blacks I’ve heard spoken in public, and threatened to turn traitor.  Now yes, we have freedom of speech and no one is saying he can’t say such stupid and offensive things.  I’m just saying he doesn’t belong at the State of the Union because his views are so insulting, ugly and yes, violent.  You won’t see the left doing things like this.  You won’t see Bill Maher, who called Sarah Palin a cunt, attending the State of the Union.  You know why?  Because it’s totally inappropriate and does not help bridge the gap between the parties.  If anything, these kinds of people only make bipartisanship that much harder.  Dems know that and care who gets to represent them. The parties should show their best face forward at such events.  The American people and indeed the world, is watching.  Republicans must not give a shit about what anybody thinks.  They must want a racist, woman hating coward to represent them.  To channel Senator McCain, that’s a problem, my friends.

How about this one…..there is a right-wing radio host, Kevin Swanson, who had this to say:

[W]omen who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

Did you know this idea is called a homunculus (3) and it dates back to Ancient Greece, in particular to Aristotle?  Did you know that Aristotle and most Greek men at that time hated women?  To them the highest form of love was between two men.  Women were only there for two things:  serving as slaves to their husbands and for breeding.  The idea was adopted by the Catholic Church and stood for a couple of thousand years (may still be part of their catechism).  But in the 19th Century modern science began to understand about sperm and eggs and development of the fetus, etc so that this homunculus theory has been proven wrong.  Pushing this kind of ignorant and debunked thought is now makes no sense unless they want people to start thinking this way again.  After all it won’t be too much of stretch for many Republicans, if their politicians are any indication.   Why?  Let me show you.

  • A bill was recently introduced in New Mexico that would make any woman who aborted a baby conceived due to rape a criminal.  For what?  Tampering with evidence.  The bill was withdrawn, however the fact that they thought it was perfectly acceptable to bring it up for discussion is horrifying to me.
  • So many politicians have said stupid and offensive things about rape in the last couple of years so that the GOP held a retreat and had to have an outside consultant talk to them and convince them that they needed to stop using the word “rape”.  Not change their thoughts about it, not reconsider their position or become more empathic to their constituents positions on it, but just stop saying the word.  Nothing about the wrong and right of it, just completely stop talking about the topic.  See, if a guy thinks that “some women rape easy” or that the vagina has defensive mechanisms to repel a rapists sperm or that there are forms of legitimate rape (4), then they can think it, the ethics of it be damned, all they want but they can’t alert their female constituents to their beliefs because it will cost them votes.  Hmmm, wonder why it would cost them votes…..? Because it’s completely wrong and  horribly offensive, maybe?!?!
  • Besides an attempt to have a national amendment for Personhood, several state Republican legislators have been pushing Personhood laws and amendments as well.  In which things like abortion at any stage would be murder.  IVF (5) would be murder.  Miscarriage would be investigated because what causes a woman to miscarriage?  You don’t know until you investigate, right?  And the fetus would be a person, so did the mother do anything to cause it? Can you imagine just having had a miscarriage while you are grieving you could be investigated for murder for that very same thing?

Such willful ignorance as Swanson spewing is falling upon very fertile ground.  That ground is full of conservatives who think in similar ways, believe similar things, and who reject science if it doesn’t fit their narrative.  They home school their kids and teach their kids abstinence.  They believe what their preacher, their priest, their favorite  right-wing TV and/or radio host, and their Republican politicians tell them, even if it is just batshit crazy.

Yet another example of the nutso caucus was the decision to have not one but two Republicans give a response to the State of the Union.  See it’s tradition for one of the opposing party to speak after the President. The GOP decided they would have Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speak in English and then Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speak in Spanish.  This idea was quickly squashed by others in the Party not because it is breaking with the tradition of only one response. Not because it is a waste of time since all three of the Hispanics who really want to watch the speeches can find a million other ways to hear and read it translated.  It was squashed because Republicans didn’t want to give the impression that they supported any other language but English.  That’s right.  They turned down the opportunity to reach out to the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., a group whose vote they resoundingly lost in 2012, because they didn’t want to legitimize that group’s language.  Keep going Republicans, you’re doing great!

Another….the President receives 30 threats against his life every day.  This is 400% increase.  He is so threatened that the Secret Service is being overwhelmed.

And so many others like…..

  • the rapid growth in the gap between rich and poor and the corresponding shrinking of the middle class,
  • the extreme opposition to reasonable requests for gun control reform,
  • the rise of a propaganda arm of the conservative agenda that disguises itself as objective journalism (Fox News),
  • the gamble with the debt ceiling and putting the global economy in jeopardy,
  • the willingness to let the sequestration occur and slow down the U.S. economy’s growth just after a recession,
  • the number of threats of impeachment the President has received,
  • the entire “Birther Movement”,
  • the purposeful misconstruing of the health care law,
  • the surge in actual political power enjoyed by shock jockeys and TV grifters like Limbaugh and Beck,
  • the resurgence of secession talk, etc, etc, etc.

I know that none of these things alone are all that unusual and they have all happened before (except for the Nugent thing, I guess, but we could consider the “You lie!” yell during the 2009 State of the Union to be in this class of offensive and tasteless behavior).  But put together, I am beginning to see a pattern of hate, rage even, that is coordinated, stoked and growing.  And it is helping the Republicans destroy themselves.  Which, in all honesty, is to the good in my eyes.  Unfortunately, it’s also hurting the rest of the country too.   If we don’t learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it and I can tell you, minorities and women do not want to and WILL NOT allow us to go backwards to the dark days when we only had second-class status.

Notes:  

1.  It will take several more election cycles, but I’m thinking around 2020

2.  Just in case you didn’t know, this man who is constantly brandishing guns and bragging about how he would revolt and fight against the evil Government, wasn’t so brave when he actually had a chance to serve his country, in order to avoid going to Vietnam Nugent by his own admission smeared shit all over his body and feigned insanity.  He got a deferment 4 times and was eventually given a 4-F.   But now, now he’s a big, big man and people should fear him.  Did he grow a pair over the last 20 years or is it that his kettle of bigotry and misogyny finally boiled over?

3.  various spellings, not sure which is official

4.  there are too many examples to link to here

5.  IVF, test tube babies, usually they fertilize many eggs, implant them in the womb and then once they attach, those that aren’t attached are removed and disposed of

Jumpin Baby Jeebus on a cracker! A writer over at the National Review, a bi-weekly conservative magazine that’s been around for about 40 years now, got irritated with the President for having the temerity to say that the Holocaust was “senseless”. The writer, Elian Johnson, responded by saying that Nazism wasn’t senseless because so many Germans supported it. Here’s the quote:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.

Now, ponder that a moment, will ya? There are so many things wrong with this statement. First, it’s anti-semitic. Jews not being admitted to “the race” is sensible? Did he really write that?! Yes, yes, he did. Second, he’s wrong on the numbers in regards to popularity. I think at the height of the Nazi movement, there were about 8 million members (1945) of the Nazi party in a population of over 78 million (1938)–so that’s about 10%. Of those, there were in 1944, 800,000 SS members–the Nazi elite who were responsible for protecting Hitler, controlling the non-Nazi military officers, and conducting the systematic execution of undesirables.  So that’s 1% were actively engaged in one of the greatest evils man has ever seen. The others? They were regular people, desperate, naive, tricked and sometimes willfully blind.   And then there were the 2/3 of the country that didn’t vote for the Nazis.  Which leads the next point.

Third, historically speaking, there was nothing sensible about how the German people chose the Nazi party. One could only think this if they didn’t know much about German history or even very much about the sociological modus operandi of how hate groups rise to power. Pre-WWII Germany was a classic case of a country in turmoil, vulnerable and desperate for help. They had high unemployment and hyperinflation which led to far too many people going hungry. Add to that the loss of pride in country. Germany lost WWI and Europe enacted some pretty strict punishments on the country. It was thought, at the time, that this would deter Germany, who had one of the largest and best military forces in the region, from becoming aggressive again. Instead it had the opposite effect. It demoralized the German people, embittered the German military forces, and made everyone in Germany suffer by worsening the effects of the economic downturn that followed WWI. So you had a country that had within a single generation descended from the pinnacle of European power and culture to a punished and ostracized nation barely able to feed itself.  They were angry, very angry, not just at Europe but also at their established leaders that had lost WWI and gotten them into the entire mess in the first place. The one thing Germans didn’t do was blame themselves or really take any responsibility.

So along came the Nazi Party–new blood, new faces. They offered Germans some pretty easy answers. The first thing they did was fill their heads with promises of fixing the economy–it’s easy to fix an economy if you control everything (China is the perfect example of this).  Once the Nazi got enough power, they could affect the economy positively because they would remove it from the vagaries of currency fluctuations based on free markets.     The other thing they did was tell Germans that the mess the country was in was not their fault. It was the fault of the old regime and the “others”, in this case most often Jews. They told Germans that they were an exceptional people, above all others. Of course, this is exactly what the German people most wanted to hear–wonderful bumper sticker answers to complicated geo-political problems.   Besides telling people what they wanted to hear, they also used sheer brute force. For example, they joined with the Socialist Party by convincing them they honestly had good will and common cause with them (hence the addition of the term to their name) and as a result they gained a lot of votes they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Once they had those offices, they then turned around and destroyed the Socialist members from within. Then they leveraged their current position to move to the next level. They did this all the way to the top of the country’s power structure very quickly–too quickly.

Those in business and finance that they couldn’t bribe or convince to join their cause, they threatened and killed. Once they had control of enough of the banking industry, they began to use the banks to persecute their political enemies, along with many other strong-arm tactics. Any party or politician who didn’t join the Nazi party and encourage their supporters to vote for them was threatened, framed for crimes they didn’t commit, beaten or killed, had their bank accounts frozen and their property seized, etc. While they subverted and manipulated the political and financial actors, they were also busy recruiting among the traditional Weirmacht Army officers. Many officers joined the Nazi not because they were bigots or because they wanted to be political in any way (which they had assiduously avoided in the past), they simply wanted Germany returned to its former glory–they appealed to their patriotism and nationalism. And Hitler promised them that would occur. Essentially, the Nazi’s made all the right promises and all the right threats to get to the top but none of it would have been possible had the country not been so vulnerable in the first place.  How Johnson thinks that “sensible” decisions were made under such conditions is just either ignorant or a dangerous reinterpretation of history.

The fourth and final point I wanted to make was that even IF the entire Nazi Party knew of the underlying evil agenda (they didn’t)….even IF they all participated in the evil things they did to rise to power (they didn’t)…even IF two-thirds of German voters voted for the Nazi Party (they didn’t, only one-third did)….it doesn’t make their actions sensible. No, a sensible reaction from Germany would have been to pause after WWI and acknowledge how they played a role in it. When the Nazi’s started to advocate for radical change they would have looked at all the options and found a solution that didn’t require destroying an entire race of people. When they first read Mein Kampf and realized the ultimate consequences of Hitler’s hatred, they would have found a way to stop him before he became too powerful. But they didn’t. It was too easy to sit back and hope that those evil thoughts on paper would never actually come to be in reality.  The German people simply wanted to be rescued and Hitler offered them that with an added helping of guilt-free scapegoating*. I think this is why the German people carry to this day a tremendous amount of guilt about the Holocaust.   Just because only a small portion of the Nazi’s and the country actively participated in the Holocaust, the entire country still made it possible through voting for the Nazis or acquiescing in the face of obvious fascism. Ultimately,  just enough Germans supported their crazy ideas to the point that it was okay to take the Jew’s business.  But they didn’t realize the Nazis weren’t just confiscating his factory, they were also killing him and his entire family.  They could envision the first but not the rest.  But now they recognize that they SHOULD HAVE known that any idea that focuses on the persecution of a single group of people will ALWAYS lead to even worse  actions and that eventually leads to evil. There is no bottom to this slippery slope.   Therein lies their great national shame.

Johnson not only doesn’t understand that Germany feels such shame, he doesn’t see that what they did was all that wrong.  Johnson’s logic is that if a movement is popularly supported by a generally sensible people**, then their platform must be sensible as well.  Fortunately, our country has a balance of powers where neither the Tyranny of One*** nor the Tyranny of the Majority is possible or at least, they cannot rise quickly to power in our system.  As such our governmental system is supposed to counter and slow the spread of the kind of destructive reasoning that Johnson uses in his execrable article.   That doesn’t mean he isn’t having an effect.  He is reinforcing hatred in the minds of our own Neo-Nazi groups and probably influencing the naive, desperate, ignorant or paranoid among conservatives, of which we have no shortage lately.  I can’t read stuff like this and sit silent.  No good person should.  For evil to triumph, the good only have to do nothing.  The Germans understand this, but do we?

________________________________________________

Notes:

*Sounds similar to “illegal immigrants are hurting the U.S. economy” doesn’t it?  

**Germany enjoyed and to a certain extent still enjoys a reputation for excellence in a variety of areas including engineering and manufacturing mainly due to a national characteristic of being very slow, methodical, and meticulous.  The other side of this coin is that once they start down a course, they don’t change direction very easily.  That slowness to change was considered very sensible in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, when slow action and thoughtfulness was considered the height of virtue.  However, their meticulous nature was the source of quite a bit of irony after WWII.  Historians point to the precise and detailed lists of Holocaust victims kept at various concentration camps–the Nazis knew what they were doing was wrong but they just couldn’t help themselves–records had to be kept otherwise how could they keep track of the amount of gold recovered from their victims teeth, the clothes that were taken and sent back to the major cities to be given to poor Germans, the possessions confiscated including works of art, silverware, money, etc.  Indeed, a very sensible people are the Germans.   As horrible as the concentration camp records were, they have been crucial to identifying the millions who were killed, to convicting the Nazi criminals who ran the camps, and to helping survivors figure out what happened to their family members.  

***In spite of conservative nuts who think the President is a dictator, they’re just out of touch with reality and wouldn’t know a dictator if they slapped them in the face…which makes me think….How much fun would it be to have actors who look like dictators (Chavez, Castro, or Jung Il) show up to right wing demonstrations and join in their protest? I would be very interested to see what they do.

A list of some news items that caught my attention.

  • The DOJ issued an internal memo laying out the legal justification for killing American citizens using drones and NBC got a hold of it.  I’ve been ambivalent about drones (not a supporter, just ambivalent).  But this shows that the White House has established a policy that American citizens who are considered to be enemies of the U.S. because the aid and abet terrorists groups that are trying to harm the U.S. can be targeted because we are at war.  Unfortunately, the War on Terror is not a finite thing and therein lies the problem.  I support the President on most things but on this, I DO NOT.  Here’s a great article on the nuances of the policy and some recommendations for what should be done.
  • Baby Boomers, folks in their 50’s and early 60’s, were hit harder by the Recession than other age groups, so much so that their average life span has been reduced by three years. But hey, best health care system in the world…..NOT!
  • The Postal Service is ending Saturday mail delivery but do you know why?  Because the Republicans in Congress forced them to pay their retiree health care costs up front in 2006 (something no other agency in federal government has to do) and then later refused to actually fund that expenditure.  So it wasn’t anything the USPS did wrong.  Congress has been trying to kill the USPS for years now.
  • The little boy being held hostage in Alabama was freed by an FBI raid of the bunker.  What you might not know is that the Mother of the boy actually asked the police to do their best not to hurt the kidnapper.  Her reasoning, he was a sick man who needed help.  Now that is a truly empathetic person.
  • Republican factions have begun infighting because one wing is blaming the other for Romney’s loss.  The Karl Roves of the world are squaring up against Tea Party members.  Karl Rove and his supporters represent the Washington insider, the practical Republican who does whatever it takes to win and they expect party obedience.  Tea Party members don’t like to “fall in line” with the party and tend to support candidates that take principled stances (meaning stances that fit into their worldview).   It’s funny, both in an ironic and haha kind of way, that neither wing of the party is looking at their ideas as being rejected by voters, just the way in which they presented those ideas.   So they’re having conferences where consultants are telling Republicans things like never, ever to use the word “rape” again in a public setting.  From their viewpoint, it’s not that so many of them think rape is sometimes justified that turns off female voters, it’s the fact that they share that thought with the public.  Meanwhile liberals are making popcorn and sitting down to enjoy the show.
  • The President’s skeet shooting photo is being mocked.  I get this because the White House should have let the derision over the skeet shooting comment during an interview just fade into obscurity.  Putting out that picture was like putting Dukakis in the tank.  Now there are conservatives declaring that the photo is not legitimate and was  photoshopped.   I don’t get this.  Everything is not about fooling you.  Maybe this growing paranoid subculture in the U.S. is based on narcissism….that arguably the most powerful man in the world has the time to cater to some idjits who think that everything revolves around them and that they and they alone know the truth.   Riiiiiiiiiiight……..Sigh….
  • Since the President dominated among Hispanics in the last election, receiving 75% of their vote, the Republicans have taken notice.  Their answer?  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) proposed yesterday that anyone whose illegal immigrant parents brought them to the U.S. as children be granted citizenship.  Wait, isn’t that the Dream Act?  Yep.  So why now?  Why didn’t you support it before?  Oh, they rejected you and now you’re hoping to tap into future Hispanic Voters.  It’s gonna take a lot more than this little morsel to make that happen, bub.